Tunisian Crochet -Building Skills in Designs

Tunisian Crochet is a technique that always has something bold to offer. It seems to be a bit cyclical in the design world, making a splash every few years. With every splash creating a great surge in creativity, and the new digital release of The Tunisian Collect from I Like Crochet Magazine is no exception.

I am fortunate enough to have 2 designs in this publication.

A Teenager Loved Pillow

The Cozy At Home Tunisian Tassel Pillow is one that my teenage son liked enough that he had me make some for his room (this is always a huge reward for my work…that the kids actually like it). It really only uses two Tunisian stitches, a Simple Stitch and a Purl Stitch to create this visual effect. In addition it uses a large hook size, so it works up pretty quickly.

Cozy At Home Tunisian Tassel Pillow

I like the edging that seams the two sides as you work it, and the tassels were a definite highlight for my son, so maybe it is a new trending feature.

A Fun Hat

The In The Round Tunisian Full Stitch Hat is one that is a real skill builder. It works what I mistakenly thought was the most basic stitch in Tunisian until I learned more about it, the Full Stitch. This stitch creates a pattern of little lines that do not directly stack atop one another, but are off-set. I have always loved the look.

In The Round Tunisian Full Stitch Hat

This pattern though has a little twist, it is worked in the round. Working in the round is not something that is commonly worked in Tunisian crochet, as it is a technique worked by loading up loops on the hook and then working it back off. So you never turn the work, and it is easiest to work flat.

However I have shared some tips to working in the round, and this pattern puts it to use.

I hope you enjoy these projects and use them to build your skills in the area of Tunisian Crochet.

Short Rows in Crochet

To help you celebrate National Crochet Month, I am sharing a technique to help advance your crochet skills, and including a free pattern. Today I am sharing how to work Short Rows, in both traditional and Tunisian Crochet.

First, I would like to thank Crochetville for including me in they blog tour for this month long celebration. Everyday you are introduced to a new designer, or hobbyist or teacher, to help inspire a new desire of crochet within you. Don’t miss a day, check out the participants here.

There are some terms that can be a bit intimidating the fiber arts, short rows can be one of them. However, they really are quite straight forward.

What Makes it Special

Learning how to work short rows in crochet will help expand crochet skills by adding subtle shaping in garments and the ability to create dramatic effects in just about any work you wish.

A short row is exactly as it sounds, you work your row short. Meaning you do not finish the row.

Sometimes this is worked by tapering the stitch height, by working shorter and shorter stitches until they are near a slip stitch. The work is turned, and possibly started by tapering the stich height upward, it is completed.

Working As A Dart

In the case of using short rows as is seen in sewing as if a dart, or a point in fabric, you work un-worked stitches. The next row works to the point where two rows below the row was worked short, then it continues to the remained of the stitches not worked three rows below.

Making A Wedge…

In the case of making a triangular shape, a multiple of short rows are worked, so that there are fewer stiches in each row. I often use this approach in creating shawls, essentially creating triangular wedges that I then build atop one another.

It is this last approach that I also use to create washcloths and potholders. I create “wedges” of triangles that work on one another to eventually create a circle.

Starting Your Circle

Using any yarn, with a comparable size hook, these patterns are great for scrap yarns. You can adjust the size by adjusting the number of beginning chains as the foundation. Just remember that this is only half the size of the finished product, and you will remove one stitch per row on the same edge of the fabric. It can be used utilizing either traditional crochet or Tunisian, and I share a quick pattern for both below.

Short Row Washcloth/Potholder

Short Row Crochet Washcloth/Potholder- Worked in Wedges

First Wedge

Row 1: Ch 16, sc in 2nd ch from hook, sc in each ch across, turn. -15 sc

Row 2: Sl st in same st, sl st in next st, ch 1, sc in same st, sc in each st across, turn. -14 sc

Row 3: Ch 1, sc in same st, sc in next 12 sts, leaving last st unworked, turn. -13sc

Row 4: Sl st in same st, sl st in next st, ch 1, sc in same st, sc in each st across, turn. -12 sc

You Should Start Seeing the “Stair Stepping”

Row 5: Ch 1, sc in same st, sc in next 10 sts, leaving last st unworked, turn. -11sc

Row 6: Sl st in same st, sl st in next st, ch 1, sc in same st, sc in each st across, turn. -10 sc

Don’t work the last stitch, and slip stitch in the first stitch of the next row…removing one stitch in each row on the same edge of the fabric.

Row 7: Ch 1, sc in same st, sc in next 8 sts, leaving last st unworked, turn. -9sc

Row 8: Sl st in same st, sl st in next st, ch 1, sc in same st, sc in each st across, turn. -8 sc

Over Halfway on the First Wedge….

Row 9: Ch 1, sc in same st, sc in next 6 sts, leaving last st unworked, turn. -7sc

Row 10: Sl st in same st, sl st in next st, ch 1, sc in same st, sc in each st across, turn. -6 sc

Row 11: Ch 1, sc in same st, sc in next 4 sts, leaving last st unworked, turn. -5sc

Row 12: Sl st in same st, sl st in next st, ch 1, sc in same st, sc in each st across, turn. -4 sc

Almost There…

Row 13: Ch 1, sc in same st, sc in next 2 sts, leaving last st unworked, turn. -3sc

Row 14: Sl st in same st, sl st in next st, ch 1, sc in same st, sc in each st across, turn. -2 sc

Row 15: Ch 1, sc in same st, turn. -1 sc

Row 16: Sl st in same st, turn.

Second Wedge

Row 17: Ch 1, sc in same st, sc in the edge stitch of Rows 15-1 (essentially either the stitch skipped in a row, or the slip stitch after the row is turned), turn. -15 sc

Row 18-32: Rep Rows 2 through 16 of wedge 1.

Wedges 3-8

Repeat Second Wedge.

Seam Wedge 1 to Wedge 8.

Tunisian Short Row Washcloth/Potholder

Short Row Tunisian Crochet Washcloth/Potholder

These same principals apply to Tunisian crochet as well.

First Wedge

Row 1: Ch 15, pick up loops in each ch across. RP. -15 sts

Row 2: Tss in next 13 sts, leaving last st unworked. RP. -14 tss

Row 3: Tss in next 12 sts, leaving last st unworked. RP. -13 tss

Row 4: Tss in next 11 sts, leaving last st unworked. RP. -12 tss

Still not working the last stitch…

Row 5: Tss in next 10 sts, leaving last st unworked. RP. -11 tss

Row 6: Tss in next 9 sts, leaving last st unworked. RP. -10 tss

Don’t work the last stitch of each row of Tunisian crochet, then begin the regular Return Pass. Thus removing 1 stitch from each row on the same edge of the fabric.

Row 7: Tss in next 8 sts, leaving last st unworked. RP. -9 tss

Row 8: Tss in next 7 sts, leaving last st unworked. RP. -8 tss

Are you seeing the angle?

Row 9: Tss in next 6 sts, leaving last st unworked. RP. -7 tss

Row 10: Tss in next 5 sts, leaving last st unworked. RP. -6 tss

Row 11: Tss in next 4 sts, leaving last st unworked. RP. -5 tss

Row 12: Tss in next 3 sts, leaving last st unworked. RP. -4 tss

Almost finished the first wedge…

Row 13: Tss in next 2 sts, leaving last st unworked. RP. -3 tss

Row 14: Tss in next 1 st, leaving last st unworked. RP. -2 tss

Row 15: Tss in same st, leaving last st unworked. RP. -1 tss

Second Wedge

Row 16: Pick up loops in each unworked stitch of rows below. RP.-15tss

Row 17-30: Rep Rows 2-15 of wedge 1.

Wedges 3-8

Repeat Second Wedge.

Seam Wedge 1 to Wedge 8.

Tunisian in the Round- Free Pattern

To help you celebrate National Crochet Month, I am sharing a technique to help advance your crochet skills, and including a free pattern. Today I am sharing how to work Tunisian Crochet in the Round.

First, I would like to thank Crochetville for including me in they blog tour for this month long celebration. Everyday you are introduced to a new designer, or hobbyist or teacher, to help inspire a new desire of crochet within you. Don’t miss a day, check out the participants here.

What Makes this Special

Tunisian crochet is an interesting technique that produces a fabric that can look woven, or even knitted. It is worked with in a two-step process. The first step is to load up the hook with loops (Forward Pass), like casting on in knitting, the second step is working all the loops off until only one remains (Return Pass).

Here is One Option

This back and for of the two-steps, actually can make it a bit challenging to work the fabric in the round, so often it is worked flat and then seamed. However, there are a couple of different approaches to working in the round. One is to work with a double ended crochet hook, so you can load from one end and work off the loops with the other. This process works the piece in a spiral and two strands of yarn, it looks nice, but finding double ended hooks is not exactly an easy task.

The Option I like

The method I employ more is one that I discovered from Jennifer Hanson, the Stitch Diva. It is a Tunisian Loop Return Pass. It involves using a cabled Tunisian hook, and adding joining loops to the fabric while working the Return Pass. I have tweaked it a bit from what Jennifer has in her video, as it works for me. So let me share my tweaked version.

How to Make it Work

After you have completed the Forward Pass of a Round, fold the cable of the hook so that the end is next to the hook, the next step for a return pass is to now yarn over and pull through a loop, you will still do this step but you wrap the yarn around the cable as you are yarning over. Basically I have the cable laying adjacent to the hook so that when I yarn over, the yarn is coming over the cable as well, and then I pull through 1 loop.

Include the cable in the yarn over.
Yarn over and pull through 1 loop on hook.

Keeping the cable laying adjacent to the hook still, I now yarn over and pull through 2 loops. At this point I have just added 2 loops to the end of the cable.


Yarn over the cable and hook again, then pull through 2 loops on the hook.
After working the 2 added joining loops to the cable, now work the standard process for a Return Pass of Yo, pull through 2 loops, across until 2 loops from the forward pass, and the 2 added joining loops remain.

Finishing the Join

I now continue the Return Pass, by yarning over and pulling through 2 loops without working over the cable until 2 loop from the Forward Pass and the 2 added loops remain, (this will be 4 loops on the hook). Yarn over and pull through the last 4 loops.

2 loops of the Return Pass, and the 2 added joining loops
Push the added joining loops up the cable and onto the hook. Yarn over and pull through all loops.
First Round is joined.

Work all subsequent round this way, and the fabric with be joined.

Yarn over cable and hook before beginning the Return Pass of every round.

In some of the Tunisian stitches there may be some gapping at the join. I have found this with the Tunisian Full Stitch for example, but overall it is satisfactory to me. In addition as the fabric is joined in the Return Pass, during the very first Round the beginning chain is not joined, so when I weave in the ends, I use this opportunity to close this gap.

The look of the seam after a few rounds.

Tunisian Cup Cozy Pattern

Tunisian Cup Cozy

Materials

Any medium weight yarn

M/N (9 mm) Tunisian cabled crochet hook

Special Stitches

Tunisian Loop Return Pass (TLRP)–  *Bring end of cable to working end of hook, bring working yarn to bottom of hook and in front of cable, loop working yarn under cable to top of hook,** YO, pull through a loop; Rep from * to ** once, YO, pull through 2 loops (2 loops added at end of row); (Yo, pull through 2 loops) until 4 loops remain on hook, YO, pull through 4 loops.

Tunisian Simple Stitch (Tss)Working from right to left, hold working yarn behind work, insert hook under next vertical bar, yarn over and draw up a loop.

Getting Started

Rnd 1: Ch 23, load hook by inserting hook in next ch, YO, pull up a loop across. TLRP. -23 sts

Rnd 2 & 3: Tss in each stitch. TLRP.

Rnd 4: Sc in each st across. Fasten off. Weave in ends.

1 for Me, 1 for You- Dancing Stripes Block

Help me help local communities by creating blocks for Warm Up America, by making a block for yourself and one for a community project with this free pattern. I will be creating a new block every few weeks and sharing it with you, I just ask that make one for donation.

Warm Up America is a nationwide organization that encourages local donations, but will also except donations to be sent to their office so that blocks can be assembled and then blankets can be donated through the United States.

Dancing Stripes Block

Even if you do not want to participate with Warm Up America, please consider creating blocks, or blankets for your local community. There are various places in every community that accept donations.

Tunisian Crochet

This block is used working Tunisian Crochet. Tunisian Crochet is essentially inserting your hook through your fabric and pulling up a loop, and leaving the loop on the hook, pulling up loops across the row. Then a “return pass” is worked to work each loop off the hook. This creates a fabric that has a similar look to weaving, yet has the same structural characteristics as crochet. There are many different stitches in this technique, but in this block I only use one stitch, the Tunisian Simple stitch. Learn the stitch here.

Changing color on every forward and return pass, creates a dramatic effect. Utilizing only three colors means that I have a color waiting for me when I finish a row and I know exactly which yarn to work next.

Gauge: 7”x9” rectangle

Materials

Medium weight yarn, in 3 colors MC (main color), CC1, CC2

9 mm Tunisian Crochet hook

Special Stitches

Tunisian Simple Stitch (tss): Insert hook from right to left under next vertical bar, YO, pull up a loop.

Return Pass (RP) :  YO and pull through 1 loop, [YO and pull through 2 loops] across, until 2 loops remain on hook, using new color for next row’s FP,  YO and pull through last 2 loops.

The Pattern

With MC Chain 19

Row 1: With color MC, pull up a loop in second ch from the hook and in each ch across. Switch to color CC1, RP. 19 sts

Row 2: With color CC2, tss across, switch to color MC, RP.

Row 3: With color CC1, tss across, switch to color CC2, RP.

Row 4: With color MC, tss across, switch to color CC1, RP.

Row 5-19: Rep Rows 2-4 five times.

Edging Rnd: With color CC2, sc in each vertical bar across, 3 sc in corner, work evenly sc around block working 3 sc in each corner. Finish off.

Get This Gift! The Perfect Kit

Wow! I am excited about this!

This has been a unique undertaking in which I have partnered with Lickin Flames and Mountain Colors Yarn to put together an AWESOME Kit.

I contributed the patterns, both crochet and knit (Brenda Atchison helped a lot with the knit version), for this cute one skein shawl. Lickin Flames added an adorable Shawl Pin, this little black sheep, which works wonders at pinning a shawl while making everyone smile. Mountain Colors contributed the yarn, a skein of Twizzlefoot (a great blend of Superwash Merino and Domestic Wool with silk and nylon), a great sock weight yarn.

This kit features 2 brand new colors from Mountain Colors….Shooting Star and Silver Anniversary, as well as the classic Ruby River.

We released this kit last month exclusively on the wholesale market, getting it in the hands of shop owners, so that anyone needing a holiday gift would find the perfect kit for their loved one…either the knitter or crocheter.

It is FINALLY available for direct sale, so you can get your own kit! Or one for a loved one!

This really is a great kit. The colors of the yarn or FABULOUS…not to mention that the yarn is pretty great too….and the Shawl pin is really adorable…I think you will like it. The pattern, okay, well I always have a hard time talking about my work…but those that have already worked it tell me that they LOVE it…That makes me feel good.

I have never had something put together in such a way as to allow everyone contributing really shine. It was fun to work on the collaboration, and I hope we can pull off another one in the future. If you are looking for a perfect Christmas gift for your yarn lover, or just looking a gift for yourself, please consider checking out the Cooperation Shawl.